There You Are!
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
I walked into the room, secretly hoping someone would come talk to me, welcome me to the group and make me feel comfortable. When that didn’t happen in the initial moments, I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my email so it appeared I was connected to someone. Anyone.
Jill, look around and see.
The words weren’t audible, but God’s voice resonated deep in my soul.
I moved my eyes from the phone to glance around the room. I questioned whether I actually belonged here. These women looked so put together.
Jill, every woman here has a backstory … just like you. Stop comparing your insides to their outsides. They may look put together on the outside, but I’m at work in each of their imperfect lives on the inside. Can you see them through My eyes?
Mustering every ounce of courage I could find, I left the safety of my seat and the feigned interest in my phone to walk across the room and start a conversation with another woman sitting alone. Initially it was awkward, but as we talked it felt good to actually be connecting with someone.
I once read there are two kinds of people in this world: those who walk into a room and say, “Here I am. Come talk to me. Come make me feel comfortable,” and those who walk into a room and say, “There you are! You look interesting to get to know. I’d like to learn more about you.”
Jesus was a master at being a “there you are” person. He saw people and reached out to them.
Zaccheaus. The woman at the well. Each of His disciples. Jesus sought them out. He pursued them. He really saw them.
If I’m honest, sometimes I don’t see well.
In social settings I'm often more focused on my own comfort than I am on making others feel comfortable.
As a parent, particularly when my kids were younger, I often parented “by herd.” I herded all five kids to church. To school. To activities. I saw them as a group instead of the unique individuals God made them to be.
Sometimes I don’t see my husband. My heart screams, “Here I am. Look at me,” and I miss opportunities to bless and encourage him, or really see how tired or discouraged he is.
Oh, to see others more like Jesus. To fully live out the message of today’s key verse, Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
We aren’t perfect, but each and every day God is perfecting you and me to be more like Jesus. That includes moving from being a “here I am” person to being more of a “there you are” person as often as we can.
Father God, thank You for seeing me. Thank You for pursuing me with Your unconditional love. Help me see like you do. Show me how to resist comparing my insides to other women’s outsides so I can stop comparing and start seeing. When I look at my husband, my kids and those around me, let me see them through Your eyes. Help me be more of a “there you are” person each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (ESV)
Genesis 16:13, “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’” (NKJV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one step you can take to be more of a “there you are” person in your marriage or with your children?
The next time you’re in a social environment, practice being a “there you are” person, and give someone the beautiful gift of being seen.